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Juveniles as Victims
Child Maltreatment
Q: What are the different types of child maltreatment?
A: Child maltreatment occurs when a caretaker is responsible for, or permits, the abuse or neglect of a child. There are several different types of child maltreatment.
  • Physical abuse includes physical acts that caused or could have caused physical injury to the child, including excessive corporal punishment.
  • Sexual abuse is involvement of the child in sexual activity either forcefully or without force including contacts for sexual purposes, prostitution, pornography, or other sexually exploitative activities.
  • Emotional abuse refers to verbal threats and emotional assaults. It includes terrorizing a child, administering unprescribed and potentially harmful substances, and willful cruelty or exploitation not covered by other types of maltreatment.
  • Physical neglect is the disregard of a child’s physical needs and physical safety, including abandonment, illegal transfers of custody, expulsion from the home, failure to seek remedial health care or delay in seeking care, or inadequate supervision, food, hygience, clothing, or shelter.
  • Emotional neglect includes inadequate nurturance or affection, permitting maladaptive behavior, exposing the child to domestic violence or other maladaptive behaviors or environments, and other inattention to emotional or developmental needs.
  • Educational neglect includes permitting chronic truancy, failure to enroll, or other inattention to educational needs.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: http://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/victims/qa02101.asp?qaDate=2010. Released on April 24, 2014.

Adapted from Sedlak, A.J., Mettenburg, J., Basena, M., Petta, I., McPherson, K. Greene, A., and Li, S. (2010). Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS-4): Report to Congress. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.


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